With years of experience in student ministry, Jared has seen firsthand the importance of mentoring youth. He previously worked for the Boys and Girls Club in Cleveland, TN, and recalled an experience when he was taking some students to a minor league baseball game. One of the students looked at him and asked, “Can we play catch when we get back?”
“That moment changed everything for me,” says Jared. “I realized the most effective way for me to share God’s love with him in that moment was to simply play baseball with him.”
Since moving to Jefferson City five years ago, Jared has been serving as the student pastor at Heritage Fellowship Church. Last November, Jared was the speaker at YOKE’s Fall Camp, where he shared the gospel with around 150 middle school students from Jefferson, Knox, Anderson, and Blount counties. Jared says that he had been aware of YOKE previously and had been considering getting involved, but it was his experience at YOKE camp that solidified his decision to serve at Jefferson Middle School.
“The thing that stood out to me the most at camp was the enthusiasm that these leaders have for showing up and investing in middle school students,” says Jared. “I loved seeing them dress up in silly costumes, perform crazy skits, and play games with kids. I had a lot of conversations with some great leaders that made it clear to me that this was a solid ministry worth partnering with.”
Jared was also struck by some of the conversations he had with middle school students at camp. “Many of the kids were quick to open up with me about their lives, which made it that much clearer how important the commitment is that these YOKE Folk have made.”
By serving at Jefferson Middle, Jared connecting with a whole new group of students who may never have walked through the doors of his church. If you have a desire to invest in the next generation, YOKE wants to help you accomplish that mission. To learn more about opportunities for serving with YOKE, and how you or your church can get involved, contact program director Eli Cockrum: firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out our online application, and someone will get in touch with you soon.